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Ian O'Doherty: Ok, we'll accept your apology now

Men are the victims of constant sexual discrimination.

We're not allowed into women's gyms. Honestly, I've applied to Curves three times and been rejected on each occasion. When I asked a lawyer friend if I could sue she called me an eejit and promptly left the pub.

But undoubtedly the worst example of just how tough it is for blokes is the fact that we're not even allowed to get sick without being thoroughly ridiculed.

I came down with the worst case of the sniffles anyone has ever suffered in history a few weeks ago. And I mean the worst case.

My shoulders were kinda sore, my nose was blocked a bit and at one point I was coughing a lot.

Then my temperature began to fluctuate a bit, which really freaked me out and when I realised that my hands were shaky I was really worried -- and that wasn't helped by a supposed 'mate' of mine who helpfully suggested that I more than likely was coming down with early onset Parkinson's. The swine.

But now it appears that I wasn't being a prima donna -- man flu is real.

A study emerged yesterday from Korea which proves that women -- particularly Mrs iSpy, it should be noted -- have been unsympathetic to a real condition that afflicts many of us.

It was with great delight that I related this news to some of the women of the office until it was also pointed out that man flu is normally brought on by pressures at work and seeing as I'm a pathologically lazy bugger that hardly applies.

Damn.

THE WORLD'S SMARTEST CRIMINALS? A VERY IRISH COUP

Every time I hear of an American homeowner shooting a burglar, I laugh inside

So I paid particular attention to the case of five criminals who have been arrested in Florida after they ransacked a recently widowed woman's house.

Now, trying to rob a widow is about as low as you can go, but sometimes the universe gives these people what they deserve.

Because after cops apprehended them they found the burglars to be rather distressed.

They had found a stash of drugs in the gaff and, assuming it was cocaine, proceeded to snort it until one of them noticed that something was wrong. Very.

They weren't snorting coke -- they were hoovering up the ashes of her cremated husband.

Seriously, how thick do you have to be to mistake the ashes from a cremation for coke?

Then, to make matters worse, they noticed another stash of possible drugs -- only to discover that these were the ashes of the woman's dead dog.

Once is bad enough -- but to make that same mistake twice?

They should be jailed on the grounds of general stupidity as much as anything else.

NO BRITS NEED APPLY

You don't need to be some crusty old Little Englander, swigging port in your gentleman's club and giving out about wogs and darkies, to see that the country has gone to the dogs.

NuLiebour's insane policies have virtually destroyed a once-great society which now stands as merely an unfortunately elegant advertisement for the utter failure of multiculturalism.

And the latest example is completely symptomatic of this situation.

Two mothers have been told their kids aren't welcome at their local playgroup in Cambridgeshire any more.

Were they bold? Had the little gurriers been misbehaving? No, their crime was much worse -- they were white and English.

The playgroup, which is funded by the local council, has a policy of allowing only foreign kids to join and is quick to refuse any locals, saying: "There are plenty of alternatives for British mothers."

When contacted for a response, a spokeswoman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission said that they had no problem with this as it is not unlawful to set up a group especially for a particular ethnic or national group.

So, will we see the local council pay for a playgroup purely for indigenous British kids that excludes foreigners?

I wouldn't bet on it.

A VERY IRISH COUP

Honestly, we can't even do a leadership heave in this country without making a balls of it.

For someone who is supposed to be an intelligent man, Micheal Martin acted with astonishing tactical naivety and is now paying the price.

While speaking about this to someone the other day, we commented on the similarities between Fianna Failure and the Church.

But they're not the only party with a religious equivalent -- Fine Gael is a bit like the Church of Ireland, wishy washy and just . . . blah; Labour are like those atheists who are smug and look down on everyone else while Sinn Fein/IRA are definitely the fundamentalist Muslims of Irish politics, with a history of being linked to people who kill those they don't like.

When I asked who the Greens would be, however, she just shrugged her shoulders and said: "F**k the Greens, they're dead now anyway."

Well, that's politics for you.

DVD TIME

Ryan Gosling gives a career-best performance in the brilliant The Believer (2001). Incredibly partly based on a true story, it sees a young Jewish man develop such self-loathing that he joins an anti-Semitic group and quickly rises through the ranks, becoming a leader.

It's a remarkable tale with some fantastic supporting performances from the likes of Billy Zane, and the fact that it's based on a true story makes it all the more tragic.

Sample quote: "You wanna know the real reason why we hate them? Because they exist. We have all the reasons we need in three simple letters. J-E-W... Jew! You say it a million times, it's the one word that never loses its meaning."

Irish Independent